Maryland's annual Otakon, the second largest anime convention in the United States, will have a sister event in Las Vegas early next year.
Otakon Vegas will take place on Jan. 3-5, 2014, at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., organizer Otakorp Inc. said.
This year, the original Otakon will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland on Aug. 9-11. In 2012, the event recorded a turnstile attendance of about 90,000, with about 30,000 unique attendees. The fan convention also offers live stage shows solely devoted to music, suggesting the expo may expand its scale in the future.
Otakon's move to host a related event outside Baltimore follows other conventions for anime, manga and Japanese pop culture held across the world.
SEFA Event, which operates Japan Expo in Paris, also hosts similar events in Belgium and the United States. In a similar vein, Singapore's annual Anime Festival Asia has made a foray into Indonesia and Malaysia.
Although some anime-related conventions are seeing a rise in attendance, it has been said that Japanese anime, manga and videogames have lost the steam they once had in North America. With a growing number of similar events being held around the world, competition among them looks certain to intensify. The survival of Otakon Vegas will hinge on whether it can offer a fundamentally different approach from traditional anime conventions.
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